Insects and Diseases
Insects and diseases are a natural part of our native and urban forests. Eradicating insects and disease labeled as "pests" is not always feasible nor is it necessary. It is more beneficial to reduce pest occurrence to a level more in balance with the tree or forest.
On the Salida District, the most common forest insects negatively affecting our trees are various bark beetles, scale insects, spider mites and aphids. The most common tree disease is dwarf mistletoe.
Mountain Pine Beetle
Every conifer species in our forests has at least one associated bark beetle with the potential to kill the tree. The most familiar ones in our area are mountain pine beetle (MPB) in ponderosa pine, ips in piñon pine and lodgepole pine, and Douglas-fir beetle in Douglas-fir.
Dwarf Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that slowly kills a tree. A heavily infected tree has deformed branches, grows slowly and produces few viable tree seeds.
In the community setting, scale and wood borers are typical insects. Fire blight and wetwood are common diseases.
Our foresters can sometimes troubleshoot problems from the office; otherwise they are available by appointment to assess an insect or disease problem on your favorite tree, on your property or within a subdivision.
Fact sheets addressing specific insects and disease are available in our office and at Colorado State University Extension.